THE FASHION WORLD OF JEAN PAUL GAULTIER FROM THE SIDEWALK TO THE CATWALK

Is there any better way to spend a Friday in London? In reality, there is no better way to spend any day in London, than at THE FASHION WORLD OF JEAN PAUL GAULTIER FROM THE SIDEWALK TO THE CATWALK.

Beginning in this labyrinth of wonderment, a sea of blue and magnificence emerges, and there, the mannequins faces are animated and lively; one would expect nothing less from a Gaultier exhibition. So far, in only a minute, it’s made certain that this exhibition will be far from unimaginative nor overdone; the curation is flawless.  

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photo: MariannaMichael©

“From the moment you arrive in the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition you realise that all of his creativity, theatricality and originality is going to be on display,” Alexandra Shulman said, following a preview this week. “Clothes can often look dull when sitting there motionless, but there is nothing dull for one minute about this collection, which is a riot of sound, movement and colour.”- Vogue.co.uk

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photo: MariannaMichael©

In all silliness, it is in this first room where i am captivated by none another than Gaultier’s own mannequin embodiment. Maybe it is the familiar, enticing voice or that alluring smile which keeps me induced, but either way,like Gaultier, this room is full of character and charm. Sweet sounds of songs play and it is the lack of glass cabinets which make this exhibition extra special.  Of course, another thing to notice is that Gaultier’s designs, nor his muses or mannequins follow any rules. Gaultier uses fuller-figure mannequins, interesting people and from his days working under Pierre Cardin, has made a name for himself, not just for great designs, but phenomenal visualisations, artistically illustrious concepts and beautifully crafted pieces. Having worked in fashion, film and print for years, Gaultier is much more than a brand of a man,but an embodiment of artistic greatness, with a bear named Nana.

A Gaultier Classic
A Gaultier Classic – photo: MariannaMichael©
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photo: MariannaMichael©

No room is the same, nor is any piece. Photographs adorn the walls whilst not all of Gaultier’s creations remain stark still on mannequins. Revolving platforms and films keep every sense and every individual well acquired to the world of Gaultier. There is nothing this exhibition is shy of, maybe only the man himself. Photographs from Gaultier’s childhood and the very first creation it seems, Nana’s bra, are in and amongst the array of artistic creations. 

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            photo: MariannaMichael©
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Nana in the [fluffy] flesh – photo: MariannaMichael©

To appreciate all the pieces you’ve admired through film, magazine and numerous catwalk shows, compares nothing to seeing these pieces in the flesh. Every precise stitch. Each bead and every well pleated or ruffled morsel of fabric. Innovations shine through and it can be said that Gaultier is a master of many things, but it is fabric choice and patter drafting which stands out.  There is barely anything pedestrian about any of the pieces, and those which are considered simple, ordinary, or less-fanciful, seem to embody something more spectacular. Concept and Gaultier; maybe a phrase to be added to the dictionary. 

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photo: MariannaMichael©

“The shock of the way I mix patterns and fabrics can be disconcerting, but what I am trying to do is provoke new ideas about how pieces can be put together in different ways. I think this is a more modern way to wear clothes that in themselves are fairly classic.” Jean Paul Gaultier

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photo: MariannaMichael©
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photo: MariannaMichael©

“Not only does the exhibition show some of the designer’s most beautiful work, the mannequins have been brought to life through video projection, giving the show a touch of magic”- Glamour online

“The show highlights the universal nature of fashion and the complexities behind creating pieces that push boundaries”– StyleLDN.com

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photo: MariannaMichael©

“Always my collections are made of different influences”– Jean Paul Gaultier

IMG_1632One of the most difficult things to do is put into words, the feeling you get from this exhibition when one was entirely immersed in something which began my own love affair with fashion; with one of the people whom has inspired me to be loyal to all my passions and combine them in a way which suits my own style. Maybe that can be the wider message, the wider concept which drives this exhibition. This exhibition is from the very man who said: When I do my collection, it is in a way my own story.”- Jean Paul Gaultier

In all of arts complexities, Gaultier has made an extravagant mark.

Check out my Vine here from the exhibition. 

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